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PostSubject: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   5/26/2009, 10:02 pm

Billie Joe has Multiple Personality Disorder.
Yeah...
I don't know if the title will stay the same, so it may change.

Prologue


I never noticed it before. I figured the trials I was going through indicated something; maybe past drug use or common sips of intoxicants. I figured my mentality or loss of sensibility could be justified by something self-inflicted, but I was wrong.

The blackouts terrified me the most. I didn't want to awake falling off of a bridge or on boat to no mans land. I wanted to remember each and every swing of the pendulum instead of forgetting hours of the days. Amnesia rotted my brain, and I was incapable from stopping it from doing so.

Next was the depression. I was lacking the feeling of pleasure, intimacy, and happiness. I first noticed this when I was on stage, playing a cricket stadium of 50,000, and felt nothing. I felt no exhileration, excitment or joy. I was an empty shell from then on.

I'm not normal or self-controlled.

I was experiencing regular hardships that I had grown acuston to feeling. Headaches and body pains are completley normal - especially if you live the lifestyle I lead - and I've dealt with panic attacks and anxiety since I can remember.I never thought of those problems of normality to be symptoms of something worse.

The distortion of my perception and reality was causing me to question my levelof sanity. My unjustified anger made me want to cry over the pain I caused, and the auditory hallucinations made me certain that I wasn't OK.

I lost what is left of my mind.

I didn't want anything I was doing taken lightly because everything felt so heavy to me. I couldn't carry the weight of this insanity so I let it corrupt me and eat away at my insides like a maggot to a corpse. I couldn't stop the devastation or the fictional decapitation that felt all too literal.

I walked down a one-way roadto insanity, searching for a familiar path back to a state of mind.

I'm not sure if I found one or not.

________
Eh?
I'm typing this at school, so sorry if there are mistakes and such.
Hopefully, I'll be able to put more up soon. =)

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   5/27/2009, 9:58 pm

Chapter 1 - Viva La Gloria

The song wasn't coming together, and I was getting frusterated. I was annoyed and irritated by the fact that I could write on verse, chorus, bridge, or some awesome guitar riff, but would get stuck afterwards.

I was sitting in my house studio down in my den. My sons Joey and Jakob were at school, and my wife Adrienne was working at her store. I was alone, and I liked that in a way. I knew I wouldn't be bothered by anyone in a few hours, so I could write without any disturbances.

The time wasn't going to much use, though. As the pendulum, swung, my fingers remained locked on an immobile pen. I was using a pen because I have an unexplainable fear of pencils. I don't know why a small, slender, yellow writing utensil with lead and eraser shavings scares me, but the phobia has caused me to almost convulse if I touch one.

The acoustic guitar left my lap as I set it against the wall. I sighed and rubbed my head; a migraine begginning to flourish within my brain. I headed upstairs slowly, passing framed photos of Bob Dylan and the Beatles. I reached the kicthe and popped a Tylenol dry before taking a slight shiver.

I decided that maybe a drive would clear my mind; maybe unlock some idea from my tired cranium. I put on my leather jacket, bracing for the April breeze, and grabbed my car keys off the table. I climbed into my car, my head still throbbing as I started the ignition.

I drove down some avenue, and no ideas popped into my head. I was searching for a great epiphany; something as clever as Jesus of Suburbia; which I thought of while on a walk. A drive may not equal a stroll, but it's sort of similar; heading aimlessly around Oakland, pondering everything.

The streets were beyond familiar; I had them mapped out in my mind it seemed. I could turn onto a pathway almost absent-mindidly, and still be able to find my way home. I guess thats whats it's like when you live in the same general area for 37 years.

Out of nowhere, I was stricken with a panic attack. My heart raced, and I felt extremley nervous for no reason. Anxiety showered over me as my lungs seemed to convulse. Simply breathing became a task as I tried to concentrate on my driving; trying not to die in some freak accident.

A green light at an intersection allowed me to continue a calm recklessness that I hoped was subtle. I could barely think of anything aside from questions - question of inquiries that I couldn't answer. For instance, What the hell is wrong with me?

I wanted to pull myself off the side of the raod and compose myself, but my shaking body wouldn make that difficult. I didn't want to veer off and smash into a guardrail or another car. Then again, I couldn't drive while I was having a panic attack. I guess I would have to take a chance.

Slow down.
You're going to kill yourself!


Thank God there were no cars behind me because I stepped onto the brakes and haulted without warning. After realizing that I was sitting in the middle of an Oakland highway, I summoned the strength to pull off to the side of the road.

That's better.
I thought that guardrail was going to be my new face.


I blinked. I was hearing voices, and the voice was as clear as day. It was a loud, soft female voice, and it was as coherent as anything. Each syllable was enunciated in my head, so nothing was nisinterpreted. There was something in my head, talking - taking care of me in a weird way - and I couldn't control it.

You don't remember me?
You never were much for faces...or voices, I suppose.


This is a dream, and I'm about to wake up. I either ate something weird, or drank too much beer; whatever it is, it caused me to literally lose my mind. Everything will be normal once I open my eyes.

Don't wish me away.

I'm not wishing anything. I'm simply thinking in realistic terms. A healthy person doesn't randomly start hearing voices in a normal reality. There must be some kind of a glitch; I must be dreaming.

You should want this to be real.

Why? Why should I want to be hearing voices? I'm a sane person; I don't want to lose my mind to some auditory hallucination.

Because I'm here...
And not him.


My migraine grew as I wondered what the voice inside of my head was talking about.

Don't act oblivious.
you're a bad actor.


Why are you here, driving me insane?

I'm here to save you - protect you.
He's here to destroy you.


Who's he?

...I received no answer, which was actually scary. The voice inside my head vanished, as if it disliked my question, and, for some reason, I wanted it back.

Well...who are you?

...I, once again, received no answer. I sighed as my head slowly stopped spinning. I figured that I was either dreaming, or totally spinning. I figured that I was either dreaming, or totally hungover, but the voice returned and crushed all of my hopes.

You know my name.
G-L-O-R-I-A.




This isn't the end, but I don't have time to type me.
Bah! I hate not having a computer at home.
I'll hopefully be able to type the rest tomorrow.

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Last edited by Sarahnade. on 7/1/2009, 8:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   5/28/2009, 12:47 am

wooot! lol i love this story so far xD
I feel special cause i'm the only one who knows what happens next =P

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   5/28/2009, 2:35 am

Hahahahaha. =)
Maybe you can call me today because I wrote two more chapters,
and I have no homework to do!
Because something really weird happens! =)

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   6/28/2009, 8:32 am

This is really great Sarah! I can't wait to read more! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/1/2009, 8:22 pm

Chapter 2 - The Traces Of Blood


Pulling out of this reality is where I knew I had been taken. And I was angry. So very angry, and nothing could nurse the rage back to happiness.

I was a strung-out sonuvabitch.

I broke the guitar strings from playing so hard. My fingers were sore and bleeding, but I didn't mind.

Nothing sounded right, so I unplugged the amp. I was tempted to strangle myself for some reason. I didn't and I don't know why.

I was confused in sensible way.

I walked out of the den and into my bedroom, passing the wife without giving a kiss. The kids were gone. I was here. Here in a big house full of emptiness.

"Billie Joe?" a voice asked.

I looked up, wondering who was talking to who.

The wife stared at me intently. "Are you OK?"

"Yeah," I said, but she walked over anyway.

"Oh, my God, Billie," she said quickly in a dissatisfied tone. I looked up at her, wondering why she was upset, but she softly took ahold of my wrist , showing me my own bloody fingers.

"What did you do?" she questioned as she grabbed a few tissues on a nearby desk and tried to surpressed the red gunk.

"Guitar," I muttered.

She looked at me, displeased. "How hard do you have to play for your fingers to bleed this bad? Are you crazy?"

I blew her off by turning away and pulling my bloody fingers away from her handful of tissues.

"Billie?" she asked, her voice strained with worry. "Are you sure you're alright?" she inquired again.

I didn't respond and she took a step towards me and touched my shoulder.

I slapped her. Right across the face.

Once her head ricketched back in my direction, she stared at me with shocked and frightened eyes. Her cheek was rosey red and I could almost feel the sting she deserved.

"Don't touch me," I added bitterly.

She continued to stare at me, and I just stared back. Long seconds went by and all I wanted was a cigarette. I didn't care about what she had to say or what she was going to do. Her hurt expression had no effect on me.

"You bastard," she muttered tearfully as she quickly left the bedroom. The door shut behind her and I stood.

I really wanted a cigarette.

I stepped out of the room and she was already nowhere to be found. I heard the car start. I wondered where she was going, but suddenly realized that I didn't care.

I walked out onto the patio with a new pack of cigarettes. One lead to four, until I eventually chain-smoked them all. My mouth was thick with a raunchy taste, but I enjoyed it. The nicotine blazed through me, and it felt as sweet as poison.

I looked out into the open, but didn't admire the sceanery. I could see all of San Francisco, but does it matter? The piece of shit never did any good for me, so why would I want to wake up to the sight of it every morning?

I tossed the empty pack of cancer sticks onto the patio, littering. The sun drenched me with sweat until body odor was all I could smell. The slightest hint of sweetness disappeared underneath the stupid hot sun.


Why would you hit Adrienne?

My eyes narrowed, and I looked around, unsure of what was going on.

I'm talking to you; Billie Joe.

She was just trying to help you.

I don't need help.

You're hearing voices and abusing women.

Those are definate incidents that cry for help.

Get of my head.

It's my head, and I'm not leaving.

Then I'll leave.

And go where?

You'll just flee to the back of my prefrontal cortex and come back when you decide to fuck things up.

She's the person who's going to fuck things up.

I'm the party in your brain, she's the pisser.


She's trying to protect me.

From what - war, robbery, genocide?

Call homeland security.


She's trying to protect me from you.

You want to destroy me.

I only want to destroy her.

But she's guiding me.

Do you want to destroy my only light in the darkness?

Yes.

My eyes opened. I didn't know if I had been dreaming or just blinking. I had a terrible headache, and my fingers hurt like hell. I looked down and silently gasped when I noticed my fingers were bleeding.

I looked around, not knowing why I was on the patio. The last thing I remember was writing a song...and now I'm outside and my fingers are bleeding.

I went inside and grabbed a tissue, btu the bleeding had basically stopped. I checked the clock and it read almost 3 in the afternoon. The last I remember, it was noon.

I lost 3 hours of my day.

I knew Joey and Jakob were at school, but I didn't know where Adrienne was. Today was supposed to be our day together, and she had left somewhere. She didn't even leave a note like she usually did.

Adrienne's lack of a presence wasn't bothering me as much as the dried blood on my fingers and the fact that I had no idea how it got there.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/1/2009, 8:50 pm

Chapter 3 - Love And Razorblades


I couldn't sleep.

I was downstairs in the living room, not sleeping. I should've been since I had to go to the studio in the morning, but should've doesn't mean could've. I couldn't sleep because I couldn't stop thinking. Thinking about everything. I wished for an off switch for my brain, but didn't receive one.

I was thinking about why I couldn't remember the three hours of my day today, but i still didn't know why. I had no explanation for why dried blood was on my fingers or why Adrienne was upset with me.

She didn't come home until half and hour after I woke up on the patio, and she was upset for some reason; she wouldn't even look at me. I tried asking her what happened, or what I did, but that just made it worse.

She called me a jerk, and that was it.

Adrienne and I have an amazing marriage, but that doesn't mean we don't fight sometimes. We usually fight when I'm out making an album or on tour because I'm not home and that stresses both of us out. This time, thought, I don't know where my wife's rage is coming from. Instead of anticipationg either a loud or silent order from Adie, I decided to do the honors myself and kick myself out of our bedroom for the night.

While trying to sleep, the consuming thoughts of unanswerable questions eroded my mind. The hint of dust on the coffee table drove me insane too. I do not only have an unexplianable fear of pencils, but of dust too. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I can't help it. It's recent, too - I never had a phobia of those things before.

Since I couldn't sleep, I decided to go cleanse - phobia - crazy and I Pledge'd the table. After all the dust was gone, I tried to go back to sleep, but the strong lemon scent held me back. I eventually gave up. I decided to stay awake and deal with my bloodshot eyes in the morning.

You shouldn't just give up like that.
Quitters make bad role models.


I could feel my heart plumet into my intestines. The voice was back. That stupid female voice that almost caused me to wreck my car was back inside of my head. My mind raced, but I forced it to slow down while I tried to think. Maybe if I don't think or respond to the voice, it'll go away. Maybe the cause that effected this is all inside of my head or...something.

Bad idea to think about not thinking.
Because I can still hear you.


I'm ignoring you.

You're doing a fantastic job.
Hopefully you can sense my sarcasm.


I'm trying to ignore you.

Why?

What do you mean why? You're an auditory hallucination. Normal, healthy and sane people do not have auditory hallucinations.

Then ignoring me won't do you any good, sweetie.
It might make you feel better, but not your poor brain


Then tell me why you're here! Maybe if I know the reason, I'll understand the meaning and be able to get my sanity back.

I'm here to protect you.

But why!? Why do i suddenly need protected by my brain? Something must be wrong!

I'm suddenly here to protect you, because he suddenly came.
I can't let him break you down, Billie Joe.


Who and why?

You know who.
And because he'll corrupt you.


No, I don't know who! Stop with the fucking riddles! Just tell me what's going on!

If you don't know, then neither do I.
I'm sorry, but you're reasonless and meaningless.


You know things that I don't know! you spelled out your name - Gloria. I didn't know that.

But your subconcious did.

What the hell does that mean?

You saw my name before, and it fell into the back of your mind. It resurrected when you asked who I was.

But why? Where did I see the name Gloria?

You saw 'glory'.
And it was on a bumper sticker on another car.


...Then who is he? This 'he' you keep mentioning? I'm not aware of him, but you apparently are.

Your subconcious is.

Well, you're my subconcious!

Not entirely.
I'm just a part of it.


So, you can't tell me anything completely relevant about him? Name, or what caused him? Why you and him are pieces of my subconcious to begin with?

I can tell your that he's trying to destroy you.
He already made a gutsy attempt.


What do you mean?

What he did to Adrienne.
The reason you're on the couch tonight.


...What did he do?

He hit her.
She was just trying to help you.


Help me with what?

He was playing guitar and his fingers bled.
She was just worried about you.


I just swallowed hard as I tried to digest it all. Everything was starting to make sense in a dysfunctional way, and I realized the unanswerable questions could be answered by Gloria.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/1/2009, 9:18 pm

Chapter 4 - Christian's Inferno

"You look like shit."

I managed to smile at Tre as I sat down beside him in the studio.

"What are we doing?" I asked him.

"Mike's doing a bass line with Butch." He answered as he started staring at me. "You really look bad," He said.

"I heard you the first time."

Tre grinned as he looked back through the glass window where Mike was doing the bass line. "Ever heard of a thing called sleep?" He questioned.

"Yeah, but I couldn't sleep last night." I replied.

He looked over at my again. "Are you okay, Billie?"

"Yeah." I fibbed poorly.

"Don't lie," Tre said. "You're a bad liar."

I just blinked as memories resurfaced.

Don't act oblivious.
You're a bad actor.


"Billie Joe?" He asked as he snapped a couple times in my face. "Anyone home?" I just looked at him and he asked, "Are you sure you're okay?"

"Yes," I answered again, but stronger, trying to sound truthful.

"Say 'no' and tell me why, or I'll have Butch come in and beat it out of you." Tre threatened.

I just sighed, and decided I had no choirce but to confess everything. Tre knew me too well, which was both good and bad. Besides, I needed to tell someone what was going on; maybe then I could get some advice or help.

I opened my mouth to speak, but something caught my eye and distracted me. It was a piece of paper lying near the production tools with a few words scribbled upon it.

Tre followed my gaze, and said, "Yeah, I just saw that before you came in. It's pretty cool."

I leaned forward and took ahold of the piece of looseleaf paper. All it read was:

Christian's Inferno.

I wanted to swallow because my throat was on fire, but I couldn't. I just stared at those two words.

'Billie, please...what's wrong?" He asked urgently.

"I didn't write this." I muttered in response.

Tre's eyes narrowed in confusion as he took the paper out of my hands and gave it a glance. "It's your handwriting, Billie. What do you mean you didn't write it? Why does that upset you?" He inquired.

"No...I didn't write this," I tried, but didn't make anymore sense. "i mean, I did, but I didn't...he must've...," And I drifted off.

"Billie? Billie, you need to get some rest. I'll -"

I stood up to leave, but Tre grabbed my arm. "I'm not letting you drive yourself home. I'll drive you there."

"I'll be fine," I tried comforting.

"No, you won't," He said as he picked up his car keys. "Not until you get some sleep, and I'm not letting you drive your car when you can't even keep your eyes open."

I just looked away, feeling defeated because I knew he was right. Tre sighed and apologized for his tone of voice. "I don't want to berate or lecture you, but you need to get some rest."

I nodded, and he added, "Just let me tell Mike and Butch, and then we'll go."

I nodded again and he stepped out of the room. Without much coherent thought, I didn't wait for Tre and quickly walkws out of Studio 880 and headed towards my car. I started the ignition and drove the slightly long drive home.

I pulled into my driveway and stepped out of my car. I took my cellphone out of my leather jacket pocket and turned it off; I knew Tre, Mike, or Butch would try calling, and I knew me not answering would worry them, but I just didn't care.

That isn't good, Billie Joe.
Being careless is Christian's specialty


I tried not to be alarmed by the presence of Gloria as I walked into my home. Joey and Jakob were at school, and I didn't know where Adrienne was.

His name is Christian?

That's what the paper said, wasn't it?
I guess I just assumed...


Where did that name come from?

How would I know?

You seem to know everything; you know the answers to the questions that I can't figure out on my own.

You must have saw the name somewhere.

Well, when did I write Christian's Inferno? I haven't gone to the studio lately, and I don't remember writing it.

You don't remember hitting Adrienne either/

...So, I drove to the studio and wrote those two words, and then drove home without knowing it?

You remember it vaugely.
When you woke up on the patio, you remembered that you had been writing a song.


I was getting a migraine, and I knew the source of the pain was from talking to Gloria and my lack of sleep. I decided to take Tre's advice and get some sleep. As I walked through the hallway, I passed a bathroom where I heard someone crying. I felt weak, and all I wanted was a cigarette.

Christian's crying in the bathroom,
And you just want a cigarette?


That wasn't Christian because Christian isn't real.

Then who is it?

If I knew, so would you.

I opened the bathroom door to see Adrienne crying, and I instantly dreaded the worst.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/1/2009, 9:58 pm

Chapter 5 - We're Going to Start a War


I took the phone out of Adrienne's hand and hugged her tightly. I didn't know what was upsetting her, but I knew it was something severe by the level of her sadness, and I knew she needed comforted.

She embraced me back tightly, her dreadlocks tickling my face as she drenched my shoulder with tears. I wanted to hold her forever and try to heal her broken feeling, but I had to know what caused this first.

Adrienne wouldn't release me, though, so I didn't try to pull away. In this moment of pure melencholy, I could feel her forgiveness. I could feel her forgive Cristian for hitting her, because that foolishness didn't matter right then, apparently.

"What happened?" I asked without pulling away.

That just caused her to sob harder, and made me feel worse. I just clung onto her as we sat on the bathroom floor while dozens of horrifying scenarios raced through my head.


Get her the hell off of you.
She cries over everything.


Christian, go away! You don't belong here. Now is especially the wrong time to terrorize.

She can't handle a little slap?
Foreplay must be a drag for Armstrong.


Just get out of here! Something obviously traumatic happened, and you're the last person needed around here!

You're such a wet blanket, Gloria.

Stop argueing and help my wife!

Look what you did, you idiot!
You woke Billie out of his subconcious!


You're the one yelling, genius.

Shut up! I have to help Adrienne.

Thank you!

Fine then, Gloria.
I guess you won't hear my offers since you behave so well.


What offer?

Stay on task, Gloria!

Shut up, Armstrong.

Christian!

I need you to help me take over Armstrong
In return, you'll get 30% control of him.


You diabolical bastard!
You're bribing me to help you destroy Billie?


I'm still here, morons!

I said, 'Shut up'!
What we'll do is simple, really. I'll take over him for a few hours, and fake a seizure or something. The worry wort of a wife will panic and take him to the ER. While I'm convulsing, you invade the subconcious and kick little Armstrong out and --


You're a real bastard, you know that?
I'm not starting a war inside of Billie!


You're no fun.

No, I'm just sensible, whereas you are a real piece of work.

Why, thank you.

It wasn't a compliment, you twisted little --

Gloria! Prioritize!

Oh, right!

"Adrienne?" I questioned as I finally forced a release. I could still hear murmurs from Billie Joe and Christian in my mind, but I ignored them. "What happened?"

She looked at me with her chocolate like brown eyes, and I almost melted inside their sorrow.

"my mom passed away." She answered tearfully.

Whoop-di -ding!

Christian, get the fuck out of here!

What? Mother's don't matter.
All they do is carry you for nine months, but the umbilicle cord actually cares for you. Then --


Both of you, shut up already!

Gloria, please leave! Let me talk to her and --

"That was Steve on the phone," Adrienne continued. "Billie, the only thing I can think about is that I wasn't there when she took her last breath. I was miles away from her. She died without me there."

...What do I say to comfort her?


I thought you were sensible.
You aren't nearly as clever as you think.


Buzz off.

"I knew she was old, and dad had told me she wasn't doing so well, but...a soon death was never implied. I just... I feel terrible about it," Adrienne almost whispered mournfully.


Gloria, please! Let me help!

If I let you, you won't remember anything.

What do you mean?

You aren't really you right now. Christian and I aren't real; we're figments of your imagination and pieces of your subconcious. I'm you right now, not Gloria, because I'm not real. If you were to snap out of me right now, you wouldn't have any idea about what was going on.

Confusing, eh?
Let me cure that confusion by destroying your mind.


Christian, give up on it already!

Billie, it's just like when you woke up on the patio and you didn't know why your fingers were bleeding. You --

"I don't want to blame myself, but I can't help it." Adrienne said.


Shut her up already!

I don't care, Gloria! Snap me out of it!

....I woke up, sitting on the bathroom floor with Adrienne quietly crying.

"Should I blame myself, Billie?" Adrienne asked.

I just stared at her, soaking in this foreign experience.

I told you so.[/i[

...Told me what?

[i]That you would forget.


Forget what?

Exactly.

Who's that?

Christian.
See, you forgot him too!


Great, he doesn't remember.
Now we can discuss my offer.


Stuff your offer!

Are you unable to swear, or what?

You sound ridiculous.

"...Billie?" Adrienne asked.

What's going on, Gloria?

Her mom died.
She blames herself.[/i]

She should.
Idiot.


"Billie?" Adrienne asked again.

I just looked at her. "I'm so sorry, Adrienne."

Her face crumpled and she embraced me.

"But don't blame yourself. It's not your fault." I told her.

"I know, but I wasn't there for her, dad, or my siblings," She said. "I was the only one absent."

I didn't know what to tell her. I knew that if I tried comforting, Christian or Gloria would pop into my head and fuck up everything.

Good call.

I' help you! Don't pass the blame around!

"I love you, Adrienne." I said.

Her tears quieted as she said, "I love you, too."

"...And I'm sorry...about before," I mentioned. "you didn't deserve that at all."

"It's okay; I forgive you," She said. "You were tired and stressed out. I was nagging and being overprotective."

"You were being caring," I said, even though I was oblivious as to how she acted before.

Adrienne finally cracked a smile. "I think I care too much."

"And that's a good thing."

Her smile widened, but tears still streamed down her face. I kissed her easily before hugging her again. Christian and Gloria left my mind, and all of my concern was devoted to Adrienne's situation.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/2/2009, 4:32 am

Chapter 6 - This Diabolic State


Adrienne and I caught the first plane to Minneapolis the very next day.

We left Joey and Jakob with my mother because they didn't know Adrienne's mom very much at all. I never really realized that they never saw her until then, and it made me feel guilty; so I can't even imagine how poorly Adie must've felt.

I was feeling strange lately. I mean, I was feeling good, so that made me feel strange. the ubiquitous voices of Christian and Gloria hadn't been terrorizing my brain since Adrienne informed me of her mother's death. It was extremely weird, though, because I knew the voices were real; I knew this wasn't a dream, so I can't really feel good about feeling good.

I was beginning to quiz every little thing I did. I was trying to discover the reason why the voices came, and why they left. I didn't know if the auditory hallucinations were etermintante
or if they had disappeared all together. Whichever, I just knew I needed to know how.

Part of me wishes I would've confessed everything to Tre like I almost did a few days ago. A part of me wanted to tell Adrienne everything while we sat on the plane, but I couldn't. I didn't want to acknowledge this insanity, and I didn't want to worry anyone...

I woke up, and it was half past three. The liqour I had drank was sitting on the dresser next to a note from the wife. It read:

I went to the church to help set things up.
I tried to wake you, but you wouldn't budge.
I hope you sleep well, though. I know you need it.
Call me when you wake up so I know you're alive.
Funeral starts at 6, so be there by 5:30?
I love you, Billie. I know things haven't been great, and you've been distant, but I know we'll be, OK.

Love,
80

I chuckled at her naivete as I crumbled up the paper and tossed it in the garbage. I rolled my eyes as I noticed dress clothes were hanging by the closet; the wife had them all ready like I was a child.

Armstrong's an idiot for dealing with this cunt.

I lit up a cigarette after popping a valium. That bitch Gloria seemed to be gone, and I didn't hear Armstrong whining., but my head still ached. Whatever. I'm going to a goddamn funeral; listening to crying twats and a blind minister should turn my aching brain into sludge. That's the only reason I decided to get off my ass and go. This fuckin' funeral was more like pain killer; the stupidity would numb my brain.

I put on the clothes the wife indicated I wore, and drove towards the church. I was hungover, and I was tempted to vomit in the backseat so Gloria or Armstrong would have to smell it later.

I arrived at the damn church in downtown Minneapolis. I walked inside, and was greeted by the wife, who sat beside me in the pew. The wife's sister walked up and started reading a eulogy. It was rhyming, though, and I realized that it was worked into a song.

I decided not to sing along to such filth


Christian, sing the eulogy.
You need to learn a lesson.


A lesson of what?

Humility.

I smirked, but the wife didn't notice. The bitch was already crying; it was annoying me.

Everything annoys you.

Including you, so get the fuck away.

We share this subconcious.

I never got a gold star for sharing.

You're an ass.

You're got a nice one.

I'm a figment of Billie's subconcious!
I don't literally have an ass!


A man can imagine, though.

Fuck off.

Whoa, you upgraded to swearing.
I'm a bit proud, Gloria.


She didn't respond, and the wife's sister finished the eulogy. The wife and I walked up to view her mother.

She looked like shit - being dead and all - but everyone kept saying how good she looked; how peaceful she seemed. I think that's a hunk of crap.

I had been smoking a cigarette. I tapped the ashes and they fell upon the red rug by the casket. I smiled a little when the tip of the cancer stick burned my finger because I got a brilliant idea.

I dropped the cigarette. The plan automatically back fired when the wife saw my fingers leave the cigarette. We both saw it fall onto her mother's clothes and ignite her deceased body, but I was the only one amused by the false spontaneous combustion.

The wife screamed Armstrong's name in horror as the flames first ignited. She pushed me out of the way firmly while she and a few others tried to stop the flames. They finished, and before you knew it, the mom's whole body was scorched.

I just smiled and enjoyed the show.

Others scrambled up to the casket to help, and the fire was eventually put out.

The wife turned to me in tears, a horrified and beyond furious expression painted on her face. She looked like she was going to say something, but she quietly walked out of the church instead.

I really didn't care how pissy she was. I was a pyro maniac, and I just got awesome seats to a human flamepit. I guess Armstrong knows where 'Christian's Inferno' comes from now.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/2/2009, 5:44 am

Chapter 7 - Where's Your Undying Love?

You son of a bitch.

You aren't very fun when you scould.

You set his dead mother-in-law on fire.
He's not going to be very pleasant!


You should have been there, Armstrong!
It was such a drag.


So you set my wife's mom of fire to interest you?

He's not very bright, Billie.

If you're so much better, St. Gloria.
Why didn't you stop me?


Because you wouldn't have listened!

You could have at least attempted.
She deserves a lecture too, Armstrong.


I'm not involved in this mess!
Don't put me in just because you can't handle the -


Enough! I'm sick and tired of this!

Of what?

You - both of you!

What did I do?

You both invaded my subconcious! Now, my marriage is on eggshells. What am I supposed to do?

Don't insult us and then ask for our advice.
He's dimmer than I am, Gloria.


Billie, tell Adrienne about Christian.

I can't tell her anything since she won't answer my calls!

Well, where did she go?

I have no idea. I don't know if she went back to California or caught a shuttle to Mars. All of her things are still here in the hotel, but Adrienne would sacrifice leaving all of this stuff behind if it means avoiding me.

She'll get over it - don't worry.
It'll just take time.


How the hell do you know, Gloria? Have you ever set your wife's mom on fire before?

She's already dead; it's not like I killed her.
I just gave the crowd an unforgettable show.


Well, the show's over. This ends here.

What do you mean?

Suicide, naturally.

Cool! Can I watch?

Billie! Be rational. Talk things through with Adri--

Christian's right - I shouldn't be taking advice from the two of you. You aren't even real; it's not like you can help me. The two of you have done everything but help me, actually.

That's Christian, not me!
I told you that he wants to destroy you! I'm protecting you, Billie Joe! Please understand that!


Wait. If you kill yourself, won't I die too?

That's the point, Einstein!
He's killing all three of us.


Don't do it, Armstrong.

Why? Because your fake life matters so much? Because you need to finish destroying me? Because you want me to suffer?

Basically, yeah.

Billie! Please! This is insane!

Insanity is the only thing that's been relevant on my life recently; I've learned to abide by it.

You love Adrienne, right? If she loves you as much as you love her, she'll understand. Just tell her about Christian!

There's no point. I'll be declared officially insane, and my career will be over. Adrienne could never fully forgive me, and, even if she could, my life would never be the same.

She has undying love for you! Are you really willing to throw fifteen years of bliss away?

Her 'undying' love just died.

Find a gun and pull the trigger, Armstrong.
I dare you.


Christian, don't enable him!
Stop being yourself for two seconds and realize that you just destroyed a man's life here.


One...Two.
I've got a better tool for suicide than a gun.


What?

Let me take over like I said before.

There's no way in hell he'll allow you to do that!
Besides, he doesn't remember your offer, remember?


What's your plan, Christian?

You're considering this!?

Let me control you for a few hours.
And I'll surprise you.


What does your idea consist of?

Not much for surprises?
Well, basically, I'll find a way for you to die, but for me to live on the the inside of your body. In the end, you'll be dead, which is what you want, and I'll control a body instead of just a subconcious, which is what I want. It's a win/win situation, right?


Billie, think of us as your consience. I'm the angel, and Christian's the devil.
Don't listen to the devil!


I'll kill Gloria off too.
I can't survive with all of this bitching.


So, I'll be dead and gone, but you'll be in control? I won't just be a figment of your imagination instead of vice versa?

You'll be dead, yes.
Fully, entirely, and completely dead.


Billie Joe, please! This isn't what you want! Listen to me, please! Please, hear me out!

Deal.

Do your worst, Christian.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/2/2009, 9:13 am

Chapter 8 - I Am the Atom Bomb.


"I hear voices."

The phyciatrist scribbled a few notes down while I pretended to seem uncomfortable as I begin. "Well, there's a girl named Gloria. She's always bringing me down and crushing my self-esteem by pointing out all of my flaws. Then, there's a man named Billie."

"And does Billie demean you also?" She inquired.

I pretended to contemplate the chicks question, even though I had all of my answers mapped out. "No, not really. Billie just...He's very diabolical. I hear him devising a plan to destroy me."

The bitch nodded. "Does that worry you?"

"Of course!" I exclaimed.

"But do you understand that the voices that you hear are not real?" She inquired.

I nodded. "They feel real, but I know they're not."

"Then this shouldn't worry you Christian." She said. "Your perception of reality is intact; that means you are fully capable of understanding the real from the fake."

I sighed sadly, seeming distressed. "But you don't understand! I'm doubting my perception. The voices are so real, and I don't know what to do with them."

The phyciatrist looked at me sadly. "Christian, you came to me for psychological help, but I would suggest you check yourself into a hospital. The voices you hear could mean a psych disorder."

I pretended to be astounded. "What kind of disorders?"

"I shouldn't discuss this with you." She deflected. "You need to see a medical doctor and recieve--"

"Please," I interupted sounding disperate. "Just give me a general idea...so I know what I might be in for."

The bitch sighed again and looked at me sympathetically. "Schizophrenia and Dissociative Identity Disorder are possible."

"What's the last one?"

"It's better known as Multiple Personality Disorder and unfortunately it makes a lot of sense." She said. "You told me about the depression, anxiety, blackouts, and auditory hallucinations and those are all MPD symptoms.

"Wow," I said, but I was actually pleased.

"But don't dwell on that," She tried. "You'll need blood tests and a full work up to confirm--"

"But that will take too long," I interjected. "These voices are driving me insane. Isn't there a pill a can take that will make them go away or something...?"

"Not exactly," she said. "There are psych medications, but you don't have a confirmed psychological illness and you have to go to a specialist to get such a perscription."

"So you're making me suffer like this?" I questioned angerly. "You are making me deal with Billie and Gloria without lifting a finger to help!?"

"I'm prohibited to do--"

"Waste of Armstrong's one hundred dollars..." I muttered under my breath as I stood up to leave. "Thanks for nothing." I added bitterly.

"Christian, our session isn't--"

I walked out on her. If she wasn't going to kill off Armstrong or Gloria, then I didn't give a fuck about her.

I sighed as I walked out of the building and towards Armstrong's car. I didn't put quarters in the parking meter and the cop had given me a ticket. I pulled it off his windshield and placed it on a nearby car.


Don't you ever get sick of cheating?
Of just falling through life?

No, I don't, actually.
Probably because of how easy it makes things.


Why do you like that, though?
Don't you ever want to accept a challenge?

I just left a shrink.
I don't need you to act as one.


Ah yes, you visited a shrink.
Didn't work too well, did it?

There are other shrinks out there.
Probably some that don't care much for authority.


Why do you want that?
So they can slip you a magic cure all pill?
A pill that will make Gloria and I disappear?

Does that seriously surprise you?

What could possibly be your motives, Christian?
The fact that I'm just in the way, and Gloria is a gracious saint?

Again; does that seriously surprise you?

Your motives are pure and your plan to destroy me will never work.

What makes you so sure?

I'm real; the dominant personality. The shrink said I could have MPD and if that's the case, then, you're just an annoying little piece of my mind that's got to go.

Not if I say I'm the dominant one.

That still won't work! Besides, you're basically screwed anyway. 'Christian Armstrong' is the name on the shrink's paperwork and you don't even exist.

I'm sure there's a 'Christian Armstrong' out there somewhere.

Sure, but it isn't you.

It is now.
Fact it, you know this can work.


No, it can't. And you're just too stubborn to admit it. You're a piece of my subconcious, not vice versa. If you were too take a magic cure all pill, you'd just be commiting suicide and killing Gloria. I know that's a win/lose situation for you, but the point is, you'd be dead. Gone. And I know you don't want that.

...Why are you being so considerate?
I vaguely remember you bitching me out for lighting your dead mom-in-law on fire last week.


Why do my motives suddenly matter?

Cause they do.

Will, if you must know, I decided that I want to the plug myself. I don't want to commit suicide, but I want to cut the cord that's keeping you and Gloria inside of my head.

Plus, I know your plan won't work; I know that you can't destroy me, but I can destroy you.

So...you want to destroy me now?

I always wanted to destroy you.
I just never went around flaunting my plan, because that's stupid.

Listen, Armstrong, you don't know what you're doing.

I know exactly what I'm doing.
You just don't want to accept the fact that I do.

So what?
I'm the dominant one as of now.
You're just a auditory hallucination, who has it's panties in a bunch.
Everything I do matters; I'm not just a piece of subconcious right now--you are.


Your point is...?

When you become dominant again, you won't remember any of this conversation because it isn't real. It's like when you were on the patio or with the wife in the bathroom.
So, you're actually just wasting my time, Armstrong.
And that's all.


He isn't wasting your time.
He's just trying to put an end to all of this.


Oh joy, you're awake...

And angry.
Let Billie do what he feels needs to be done.


You're such a stupid bitch, Gloria.

How so?
Be detailed too, oh perfect Christian!


If Armstrong follows through with "pulling a plug" then you'll die too.
Not just me.


I am aware of that.

And that's why you're a stupid--

I am willing to sacrifice myself, if it helps Billie get his sanity back.

But why?
What makes your motives so pure and justified?


I don't know.
All I know is it's the right thing to do.


C'mon! Can't someone be on my side?

Sorry, but no.

No, but I'm not sorry.

Face it, Christian.
Your plan of Armstrong-destruction has failed.

Ha! In your face!

Fuck off.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/3/2009, 2:05 am

Oh wow Sarah, this is amazing! I love it! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/3/2009, 5:04 am

Chapter 9 - Sister of Grace

I was in a church. In real life, water has no smell, but I could smell a strange stench from the holy water in this creation of my subconscious. The pews were empty and holding, while a peculiar chandelier hung from above, swaying effortlessly, as if it may fall at any given moment.

The setting didn't give way to the events that took place in this alternate reality. As things progressed, my logical side stated that this was senseless and that I shouldn't be afraid, but the figment of my imagination simply retaliated by creeping me out even more.

I could see myself as a puppet; a puppet with crazy stitches for eyes and a mouth. I was being lowered from the cob-webbed ceiling by someone - maybe God since I was in the house of the Lord.

I then felt a shock of sadness upon realizing that the person I was looking at wasn't me. It was of the poor boy whose mind i had corrupted for reasons unknown. I felt guilty in a dream; a dream that my twisted psyche must likely caused.

A string broke, followed by another. I fell through the vacancy of the chapel, but I awoke before hitting the ground.


I woke up, startled.
I figured I had a not-so-pleasant dream, but I couldn't remember.

That's a good thing.

I just sighed. I couldn't even wake up in an empty hotel room in the middle of the night without a voice in my head tagging along...

Just be happy it's me and not Christian.
He's cost you a lot lately-literally, and metaphorically.


It's my fault, though, Gloria. I told him to do his worst, to try to destroy me, but luck and sense cause him to fail. He was just obeying me.

Christian doesn't obey.
He just listened because it sounded good to him.


...For him and not me?

Exactly.

Because that's all that matters to him?
He's an egotistical arrogant masochist with no regard for mankind?

You're catching on!

I'm sorry it took me so long to do so. From day one, you've been trying to protect me from him, and, when it actually counts, I ignore you and allow Christian to destroy me. He failed, and will never succeed thanks to my unalterable dominance, but if he would have...

It's the early morning-don't think hypothetically.
And you're welcome, because a 'thank you' is in order.


Thank you...but, what now? What is Christian going to do now? He failed, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't take failure too well.

He'll sulk for a while.
Then he'll try a new plan all over again.


Could he succeed?

I don't know, Billie.
I'm not dominant, so I don't know how things really work.


I haven't been tested for Multiple Personality Disorder; I don't know if you and Christian are simply personalities or what. It isn't sensible, and I...don't know what to do.

Well, why not get tested?

Right now? Here in Minnesota? I still haven't gone home, and my mom-in-law's funeral catastrophe was over three weeks ago.

Then go back to Oakland.
Go to a hospital there.


But what if Adrienne's home? She's either there, or still somewhere around here; maybe at her sister's or something and just called my mom to care for Joey and Jakob...

So what?
She's your wife, Billie, you'll have to encounter her sometime!


I know, but I don't know what to do. should I just drive home and hope she's not there or stay here and can continue avoiding each other?

You should try calling her again, and, if she answers, talk to her.

And tell her what?

The truth.
Tell her about Christian.


She'll think I'm insane.

She might, but she also might realize you need help.

I sighed again and rubbed my forehead. The conversation with myself was producing a headache, but I knew the pain was an effect of a rational decision Gloria was helping me make, so the hurt was good in a weird, confusing way.

Gloria was always right, and Christian was always wrong, so I wasn't really surprised by her argument and how I knew getting back in touch with Adrienne was the right thing to do. It was simple, but under no circumstances was it going to be easy.

I checked my alarm clock, and realized it was nine in the morning. I figured Adie was awake, whether she was in California, or still here in Minnesota which was good, because I didn't want to add to her definite and deserved anger she had towards me by waking her up.

Are you going to call her?

That's the plan.

What are you going to say?

I don't know, but I'm not too worried. I've texted and called her for the past three weeks and received no answer.

She has to be cooled down by now.
How long can someone's temper be inflamed?


I don't know. How long did it take you to get over your husband for lighting your dead mom on fire--you know, since the scenario is so common?

I'm sorry, stupid question.
Lose the sarcasm before you talk to her, though.


I already dialed her number. It's rang six times, and no answer, she's not going to pick up.

*67 it.

I sighed, but obeyed. I knew Gloria was just a piece of my subconscious, but I trusted her. She helped me stay rational and sane, whereas Christian did the opposite and contrasted everything Gloria tried to do. It was annoying, and I guess I shouldn't be happy about Gloria since she was a sympatic catalyst for a problem in my head, but I was, in a way.

You should be happy for me.
I'm a conscientious objector to the war that's in your mind.


"Hello?" A familiar voice asked from my cell phone.

"Adrienne!" I exclaimed, slightly stunned by an answer.

"Hi, Billie," she said, sounding understandably reluctant, and I was too. she didn't sound angry, but she only said two words, so who knows? Maybe she's conspiring to kill me, but she can disguise her voice so well that--

Billie! Focus! Say something!

"Hi," I said back, feeling ridiculously uncomfortable. "Um...where are you?" I asked her.

"Home with the boys," she answered. "I told them you had work...are you still in Minneapolis?"

"Yeah," I said softly. " ...I was thinking about coming home."

"You should," my wife encouraged. "That way we can talk."

I agreed silently, and the silence remained for some of the longest seconds of my life. I eventually chimed in and said something that was absolutely necessary.

"I'm sorry."

Wonder if that'll make a dent.

Go away, Christian!
Billie has this problem because of you!


I did nothing wrong.
I just made things more interesting.


Interesting for you, but nobody else.

That's because everybody else is a deadbeat.

That's your excuse?

It's a statement, not an excuse.
Use your correct form of words, Gloria.


I really don't want your sarcasm right now.

And I really don't want your bitchin' right now, but we can't always get what we want, huh?

You're so annoying.
I can't wait until Billie goes to the hospital and gets rid of you. It'll be peaceful from corner to corner of his brain.


Well, you won't get to appreciate the peacefullness 'cause you'll be gone too, stupid.

I know, but at least you'll be gone too.

Armstrong'll procrastinate or something.
But I'll make sure our last days are as annoying as possible.


"Shut up," I finally ordered softly, but sternly.

"Excuse me?" Adrienne asked.

Ha! You said that aloud!

"Adrienne," I tried, but my mind seemed to go haywire with fear and panic.

Say something!

"I'm sorry...for everything."

Adrienne was quiet for a moment before softly saying, "I hope so." She hung up soon afterwords and I left for Oakland with a heavy heart a few minutes later.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/3/2009, 5:05 am

Chapter 10 - Fire In My Veins



Are you sure about this?

As sure as I could possibly be.

But this is your wife, your life. I don't know her or know what to say. I could mess up everything even more!

That isn't possible.

But why me?

...You're wondering why I chose you over Christian?

No. I'm just wondering why you chose me over yourself.

I trust you.

More than yourself?

Right now - yes.

Look, I'm a nervous wreck. I'd say something wrong or do something stupid just because of this anxiety. You can keep yourself together, though, and you're capable of comforting Adrienne and being kind to her, unlike Christian.

But I can't do something like this!
How do I explain what Christian did? Should I tell her about Christian and me?


I don't know. That would be the easiest, but most painful way. She's either not going to believe a word, or she'll completely panic and--

And what could you possibly say to make it better? Lying to her because you're trying to protect her will backfire whenever you go to the hospital...which you're going to do, right?

I don't know, Gloria! Can you just do this for me before I have a panic attack?

Fine. If you promise to go to the--

I'm not promising to do anything until this mess between Adrienne and I is cleaned up.

Fine! But I can't just become dominant, if MPD is what you have...or can I?

I don't know. I'm just saying, if you take over, do your part in helping me with Adrienne, OK?

Ok.

I arrived at my Oakland home for the first time since leaving for Minnesota last month. I parked my car in the garage and exhaled softly as I tried to remain courageous and positive.

Why are you so nervous, Billie?
She said she wanted to talk.


That doesn't mean things are going to go over well.
You never know with Adrienne; I could either be completely forgiven, or she could hand me divorce papers.

I doubt either one of those will happen.
The first scenario would be nice, though.


I sighed before opening my front door. A few moments after I did, I was greeted with a hug from my youngest son, Jakob, and a reluctant smile from my wife. I followed her upstairs where I anticipated the worst.

"Where's Joey?" I asked as we passed his vacant bedroom.

"At Matthew's," she answered, naming one of his friends.

I nodded before we entered our bedroom. We sat on our bed and Adrienne began.

"The last couple of months have been bad for us," she stated. "Not really bad," she quickly amended, before adding, "But not great. You've been working, which always seems to strain us... but I don't think that is the problem. We've gone through that a dozen times before, and it's never been like this. You've been distant, and we've both been stressed out...is the stress causing you to be distant or vice versa?

...Ok, a lot to digest.
You are apparently still dominant, so say something.


What should I say? What's the right answer?

I don't think there is one.

Well, which one is less wrong?

Tell her the distance is causing you stress. Then she'll ask 'why' and you can explain about Christian and me.

How about no?

Ugh, Christian! Go away!

Oh, that was original...
And I can't go away, since I just became dominant.


What!?

I said I can't because I just be--

"Billie?"

Christian, stop! Please!
Please, if you have any regard for me at all, you'll--

"I don't know what you're talking about. I've done nothing wrong."

Christian!

What the hell are you doing!?

"What do you mean?" the wife questioned, stunned. "You lit my mother's corpse on fire!"

"I'll light you on fire!" I replied in a sexual manner.


You sonuvabitch.

The wife just stared at me for a few seconds.
It was funny and peaceful to see her so speechless.
Eventually, she softly ordered. "Get out."

"Gladly," I responded as I stood up.

"No, I mean out--out of this house," she crooned. She stood up also and hurried towards the closet. She pulled out one of Armstrong's suitcases and filled it quickly. "Today was your last chance, Billie," she said tearfully. "I shouldn't have even given you one. I should have fucking left before you came back... I should have left the goddamn--"

"You're upset--I get it," I interjected. "But just because you're pissy doesn't mean my ears have to bleed."

She shoved the suitcase at my chest and quickly rushed to the front door where I happily followed.

"I'll take care of the kids, since you never did anyway." She hissed.

"Have fun!" I replied as she slammed the door in my face.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/3/2009, 5:23 am

Chapter 11 - The Mascara Tears


I swiped the hotel card through the scanner and the door opened. I walked in and tossed Armstrong's keys on a nearby desk before throwing myself on the bed. I snuggled my face into the comfortable pillow and was ready to fall into a deep drooling sleep, by Gloria and Armstrong started their whine fest.

Why couldn't you just have put your foot in your mouth for once in your life!?

I don't like having toe jam in my teeth.

Christian! What sick pleasure do you get by messing up Billie's life? Why can't you just be a helpful figment of his imagination instead of a crazed terrorist?

I don't know.
I guess the second one is just more fun.


My marriage is over because of you, Christian. My wife could never possibly forgive me for all of the shit you've done. It's over; you destroyed everything for me.

You must've forgotten that I don't care, Armstrong.
Have Gloria throw you a pity party, but don't invite me.


How can you be so insensitive?

How can't you be? Why do you care so much about Armstrong's well being when you're willing to sacrifice yourself for him?

What do you mean?
I'd sacrifice myself for him because I care.


No. You're trying to make his life absolutely perfect for no reason. When he goes to the hospital, he'll get us both killed off. Why are you living your last moments in such a boring way? Why aren't you being chaotic and destructive? Why are you so determined to protect Armstrong when he's just going to get rid of you?

Is that why you're so destructive? You're trying to self-destruct before Billie can destroy you himself?

Are you that demented and controlling that you have to control your own death? A death that, in actuality, isn't even real?

No, I just want to go out with a bang.

Christian, can you just be honest and human for a minute and tell us how you feel?

No.

Why not?

Because you just want me to bullshit about how disturbed I am so you'll feel less anger towards me. You want me to be fucked up because you think there's good inside of me.
Don't be naive, Gloria; the only thing I'm made of is rage.


But why? Why can't you admit and express your--

I think I'm going to pull a Holden Caulfield and get myself a hooker.

Why?

I need a reason to want to have sex? Are you aware of what gender I am?

Ugh, I'm sorry, Billie, but I give up on him...

Finally!
Now, do you still have to drive around to the corner of every street to find a tramp, or did the whore nation upgrade to a hot line?


You are not sleeping with a hooker!

Mo-om!

You may be twisting my brain around on the inside, but I'm still Billie Joe Armstrong on the outside.

What--worried about your reputation?

Yes. I'm worried about you getting caught, but having my name on the police file.

I could always say I'm Christian Armstrong.

No, you wouldn't. You would go by my name just to fuck me over. You couldn't pass up a perfect opportunity like that to screw my life up even more.

You know me too well.
Oh, well though, since it's not like you can stop me. I guess your knowledge is useless.


Christian, honestly. Stop this already!

I ignored Gloria for the trillionth time as I stepped out of the hotel room. I walked through the hall and lobby until I eventually made it outside. I climbed back into Armstrong's car and drove to the end of the long road.

This is ridiculous, even for you, Christian.

That's good, you know, 'cause I don't like to repeat myself. Gotta be unpredictable.

What are you pulling?

A Holden Caulfield.

You know, he actually didn't sleep with the hooker.

Oh, well, I'm pulling a Holden Caulfield with balls then.

Christian, c'mon, be sensible. What's this going to achieve or solve?

I won't be as horny afterwords.

You're disgusting.

Seriously, though. You're actually turning me on, and that's what's disgusting.

I cannot wait until Billie gets rid of both of us.
I can't take your silly remarks anymore.


I happen to enjoy my sense of humor

You just passed a hooker.

Billie! What the hell?

Thanks, man!

What? He's going to find one eventually--this is California. And I don't see any cops, so I'm not getting busted as long as Christian is capable of being subtle.

Oh, I can be subtle

Lord help us.

I flashed the lights at the most likely disease-ridden slut. Oh well. Armstrong can cope with syphilis.

How thoughtful.

I pulled up beside her and rolled the window down. I tried to be coy, but Gloria was sighing unhappily, and she sorta ruined my slyness.

"You sellin' that fine body of yours?" I questioned.


Yeah, she ruined your slyness, Dr. Love.

More like Dr. Lame.

"Yeah," the whore answered. "You interested?"

"Very." I replied.


What's her name going to be? Cinnamon? Candy? Caramel? Some other baked good?

Fifty bucks on Cinnemin.

I'll have fifty on Candy.

I opened Armstrong's car door and the tramp crawled in. I told her I'd take her to the hotel and she just nodded before asking me if she could bum a smoke. I handed her one and a lighter and she lit up and exhaled in just a few seconds.

"What's your name, baby?" I asked.

She blew out her smoke and hoarsely answered, "Candy, what's yours?"


Damnit.

Too bad figments of the imagination can't pay up.

"Christian." I informed her.

"Whoa," she immediately said. "Isn't that a religion or some shit?"


Wow. You are not serious.

Someone's got a GED.

"Yeah," I said. "But who the hell cares?"

She grinned after taking another drag, her coral lipstick staining the cigarette. "A little holy boy, yeah?" she said. "Nice."


I literally might rowf.

You kinda can't Gloria, but I know what you mean.

We arrived at my hotel and were stripped of clothes the moment the door shut behind us.
Candy was a great kisser, but she didn't taste sweet like candy at all. She tasted like cigarettes and cheap mints and smelled like sex and generic hairspray.


Ah, the aroma of whores...

The sex went by blissfully, yet dysfunctionally. She was good from experience, but also rushed and stratgesized from experience. It lasted less than half an hour, and we laid in bed, tired and bored afterwords. She had herself some fresh cocaine that she was happy to share, so I did a few lines with my new friend.

Armstrong's cell phone started vibrating obnoxiously, so I reached down and pulled it out of his jean's pocket. My eyes were blurred from the white, so I couldn't read the caller ID, so I just answered.

"Yeah?"

"Billie?" Armstrong's stupid wife inquired.


Adrienne! Christian, please, don't be an ass! Tell her--

"Yeah?" I questioned again.

Do you have any sentimentality at all?

"I...maybe I overreacted," the wife said. "I just...I think we both could have behaved better."

Look what you've done, Christian!
She's blaming herself when she's gone nothing wrong!


He's crushed her confidence and made her question and doubt herself. You can fix things, Christian--she's vulnerable. Please...just...don't be yourself.

Be honest with her!

"Are you done with this, baby?" Candy asked me about the coke.

I nodded when the wife asked, "Who's that?"

I thought for a moment, but quickly answered, "That's Candy. She's the hooker I just had sex with.


What the fuck is wrong with you!?

Gloria told me to be honest. I was just following orders from your precious saint.

Honest on an emotional level, not--

I'm not fucking around! Don't fuck me around anymore! Stop fucking up my life every chance you get, and stop destroying the only thing that matters to me--my marriage. You don't--

...I was in a hotel room...I was naked...with a filthy woman beside me in a bed in a hotel room.

"What did you do?" I asked Christian aloud.

"What?" Adrienne's voice asked through a phone that was in my ear. "What did I do? You mean what did you do. You've slapped me, insulted me, ignored me, and you set my deceased mother on fire! And, now, to top it all off, infidelity!"

There was a slight pause, before she added, "I'm getting myself a lawyer, and I'd advise you to get one too because I'm getting us divorce papers. I can't take this anymore."

She paused again, but that's because she began to sob. "I'm tired of fighting with you. I'm tired of lying to our children when they ask me where you are or if I'm OK. I'm not OK--we're not OK! I don't want marriage counseling or to just take a break...I want a separation. I want all of this to be over."

I could see Adrienne crying in my head--her brown eyes sore with pain and her mascara tears leaving lines of black stains across her cheeks. The thought of her crying brought tears to my own eyes and Adrienne heard me whimper slightly.

"...Billie?" she asked, becoming my worried wife once again. "Billie...what's wrong? Where are you?"

Billie...it's time to go.

In my heart, mind, and soul, I knew Gloria was right. It was time.

"I think I need to go to the hospital," I tearfully and softly informed my broken-hearted wife.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/3/2009, 6:57 am

Chapter 12 - Pouring Out Like a Flood


"Billie?"

I saw splotches of colors in my eyelids. Rainbowed, plaid, and designed. Some bold and vibrant, others bland and wary. The colors made me tired; I just wanted to sleep.

"Billie?"

I opened my eyes. My legs swung as I sat on the cot, waiting on the doctor. In the distance, I heard a man puking and the painful tone of a flat line. In that moment, I knew I belonged here. I knew it would all end for Christian and I here.

"Billie Joe?"

I'm going to die here.

"Hey?" Adrienne questioned. "It's going to be OK. Everything's going to be alright," she comforted.

"Why?" I asked. "Why do you think that?"

She looked at me sadly. "I don't want you to worry."

I smiled wryly. "Too late," I muttered to her.

She smiled back as she took my hand in hers. "I just want you to get better...I should have known you weren't feeling well...I feel terrible for not bringing you here sooner."

"It's not your fault," I tried. "I should have came her sooner on my own, or told you earlier."


"You were scared," Adrienne reassured.

I just blinked. I was in a hospital room without any recollection of how I got there. Confessing to Adie that I had a problem was the last thing that I remember, but in all of the confusion, I felt a feeling of comfort because I new Gloria had been in control and not Christian; Adrienne wouldn't have been holding my hand and looking at me with empathy if Christian had taken over.

I realized then how strange I sounded and how corrupted I had become. I felt comfortable when the sweeter part of my subconscious popped her head in instead of Christian coming in and fucking everything up. In a consistent and sensible point of view, though, they were both fucking everything up. Maybe I've actually and finally lost my mind.

You're just realizing that now?

"I haven't been able to realize much because of you and her," I snapped at Christian.

It's not my fault!
At least I'm not trying to kill you!


"What?" Adrienne asked. I wondered what she was talking about, but I then ruminated that I chastised Christian aloud. I didn't have the chance to explain myself because the doctor walked into the exam room, an expressionless face resting on his chin.

After all of the pleasantries, he asked me what symptoms I had and, basically, what the hell I thought was wrong with me. The fact that my wife was there was making me neurotic and at ease. I knew I was going to have to pour everything out like a flood; confess everything that I've been going through for the past few months, and just the idea made me nauseous.

"I hear voices...in my head." I informed very uneasily, like I was pulling teeth. "There's like...there's two voices, a girl and a guy. And...I think...maybe it would be more accurate to call them personalities."

"Why do you think that?" he inquired.

I sighed, my mind speeding a mile a minute, but Adrienne gave my hand a squeeze, as if she were pushing me forward. "Because they're so distinct...and they...control me in a way." I tried.

"Control you?" the doctor asked.

I nodded. "I have these, like...blackouts. Like...I once woke up on my patio and didn't remember how I got there. I was with my wife a couple of times when...it was really me. I just don't remember things."

"What times?" Adrienne questioned softly, but with notable urgency.

I just looked at her sadly. "When your mom passed away...in the bathroom...and at the funeral."

Adrienne's eyes narrowed, as if she was trying to make sense of everything. "When...that happened...it wasn't you?"

I knew that she was talking about Christian lighting her mom on fire, so I shook my head no.

"That wasn't me," I told her. "I mean it was...but...it wasn't."

"Why didn't you tell me, Billie?" she asked.

"I didn't know how to," I tried. "And after...that happened, I couldn't get in touch with you. Not for a few weeks until you called me."

Adrienne looked at me funny. "You called me. Then you came home and we had a fight. That's when you told me something was wrong."

I looked at her, confused. "We had a fight?"

She nodded. "I threw you out...you went to the hotel. That when I called you, and you..."

"What?" I questioned, not remembering any of this.

Her eyes narrowed. "You don't remember the girl you told me you...we had another fight...you don't remember?"

I shook my head and the doctor asked, "So, blackouts and auditory hallucinations. Any other symptoms, Mr. Armstrong?"

I rattled off all of the symptoms I had, realizing how long the list must have been: headaches, panic attacks, blackouts, auditory hallucinations, forgetfulness, unexplainable phobias, depression, lack of personal connections and lack of a distinction of reality.

"What are your phobias?" the doctor asked.

I thought for a minute, but could only think of three. "Pencils, dust, and imperfection." I informed.

"And do you have reasons why those things scare you?"

I shrugged a little. "Not really. I mean, I just sort of realized my fear of imperfection. I'm really critical and fastidious. Like, I'm in a band, and if the song isn't absolutely perfect, then I'll hate it. I can't stand it if I make a mistake. But I've been afraid of pencils and dust for a while, and I have no idea why."

The doctor nodded a little as he scribbled notes down. Adrienne rubbed my arm lovingly, for fingers gracing across a tattooed photo strip of her that was imprinted on my arm. I watched her face, waiting for her to look up at me, and when she did, I wanted to mutter, 'I'm sorry', but I whispered, "I love you." instead.

She smiled sadly, a glimmer of a tear in her eye. She was going to say something, but the doctor asked, "Do you know someone by the name of Christian?"

Here!

"Why?" I asked, becoming scared.

"I have a psychiatric report from a therapist, in Minnesota, Dr. Simmons. It was in your file--a Christian Armstrong. He has your address on here. He's your age..."

"What did you do?" I asked aloud.

You need to learn to keep your mouth shut.
They should put you in an asylum, Armstrong.


Stop it, Christian.

"Billie?" Adrienne questioned.

I swallowed hard. "He's one of my personalities," I informed. "I don't really know how the names came about, but the guy is Christian and the girl is Gloria."

I didn't need to look to my left to know that Adrienne was staring at me with a complete sense of trepidation in her eyes. She knew none of this, and I was throwing it all out at her without warning. It was almost like she had no idea what her husband had become or who I was anymore.

"I'm sorry to say, but you seem to be a classic example of a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder, Billie Joe," the doctor informed.

"What's that?" Adrienne questioned eagerly.

"It's better known as Multiple Personality Disorder," he told us. "We'll have to do some blood tests and deeply review your patient history to be able to know. MPD symptoms of sleep deprivation, medication, intoxicants, and a traumatic brain injury. Have you done or had any of those, Billie?" he asked.

"No, not really," I said. "I haven't been able to sleep very well, though, but I don't think it's that bad."

He nodded as he pulled out a prescription pad. "I'll write you a prescription for a sleeping medication," he said before asking, "Can you not sleep because of the voices? Are they that severe?"

"Sometimes," I said malcontentedly.

He left a while later and I just sighed. I looked at my wife, no sure what emotion was playing in stereo on my face. I couldn't distinguish her's either, but I'm not sure it mattered.

I figured questions would be asked and things would be said, but we left the hospital in complete and total silence. It was a good silence, though; not awkward or uncomfortable. After all of this crap that happened, we were in a weird peace, and I knew in that moment that our marriage was in a complex process of healing.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/3/2009, 4:14 pm

Chapter 13 - This Bitter Pill


The sleeping pill was down my throat and breaking a part inside of my body. I layed in my bed, waiting for the damn thing to take effect. It had been over an hour, and I still hadn't fallen into a worry-fire sleep.

I was tired, though. I had been dealing with a lot of sleepless nights lately, thanks to my over-active subconcious. When I tried to sleep though those restless and fussy nights, Christian and Gloria's voices were playing in a soft murmur; like a bunch of static and I couldn't turn it off. It was driving me mad with lunac. I was hoping the pills would be that push that would finally turn off all of the static.

It wasn't right then, so I layed awake, listening to the sounds of my Oakland home. I heard my son, Joey, playing his drumset, and my other son, Jakob, playing a videogame. I heard my wife talking to someone, but I didn't know who. I tried to listen more heedfully, and I eventually discovered my mom's voice following Adrienne's.

"He's just tired," I heard Adie say. "The doctor gave him sleeping pills, but I don't his lack of sleep is what's doing this to him. I mean, I know he hasn't been sleeping, but he gets some rest. I just don't think the severity of what he's going through and a few missed hours of sleep every night add up."

"From what you've told me, I don't think so either." my mom replied. "The rest couldn't hurt him, but I don't think that's the underlying cause."

"Ollie, he couldn't possibly be any worse than he is now," Adrienne said, a slight sense of lament drenching her words. Her voice got softer and lower, as if she was afraid that I could hear her when she said, "Blackouts and auditory hallucinations. I know that he's depressed--I can tell," she paused before adding, "It has to be MPD."

"Don't say that, Adrienne," my mom said. "Let's not get too ahead of ourselves and assume the worst. We--"

"What else could it be?" my wife interrupted. "You said it yourself--sleep deprivation can't be the underlying cause. It has to be more serious."

"We'll get the results of the blood test next week," my mom reminded. "Hopefully we'll know for sure then. Until then...I just want to remain hopeful."

I felt a little foolish when a tear rolled down my cheek, but I couldn't help it. If Adrienne informed my mother, then my whole family knew, and so did Mike and Tre. I wonder what she told our sons, if anything.

Oh, suck it up, Armstrong.
Your crybaby antics make me embaressed to corrupting.


Maybe you should stop it then.
Let Billie's mind at ease.


Both of you, stop. I need to sleep.

Nobodys' stopping you.

We are, so shut up!
Get some rest, Billie.


The rest won't help him.

Shh! And you don't know that.

For once, can you both just shut up?

Yes, we can.
Well, I can. I don't know about Christian.


I could, but I don't want to.

Well, you can't always get what you want

I had slowly, but surely been getting tired, and the pill must have really worked because I fell asleep despite the bickering between the figments of my poor mind.

So, I fortunatley finally fell asleep, but it wasn't worry-free like I had been hopeing. While I rested, my mind was going haywire and creating a chimerical delusion that I don't think I could even call a dream; it was too strange and peculiar to be classified as one.

There was some guy just sitting on the floor of a small, white room. He looked a little like me, but he wasn't; he had black glossy hair that was spiked up a little in the front. He wore a leather jacket and black pants and shoes. I didn't know who he was or why I was dreaming such a thing up, but you can't choose what you dream.

All of the sudden, I head the distinct sound of a flat line that I had heard when I was at the hospital. The random guy stood up and tore into his chest. He ripped his skin apart with his fingernails until his muscle was exposed. I could see blood through his black shirt as he dug his hands inside of his chest. He soon pulled out his beating heart; the valves in terrible condiction. He squeezed it, but nothing happened.

In the dream, I was able to see everything perfectly. I was able to study the heart that rested in his hand and realized that it wasn't a heart at all--it was a hand grenade and it exploded.

I awoke

Stop it, Christian!

What? It was cool, right, Armstrong?

You made me dream that?

Dreams are creations of the subconcious, since we are your subconcious, we can control your dreams.

But why did you make me dream that?

I didn't. Christian did.

Because we're still here.

I barely slept. If you are in my head, because of slept deprivation, I'm going to have to get a good night's sleep.

Check the clock, Armstrong.
You slept for eight hours.


I turned onto my side to check my alarm clock. I did the quick math and realized that Christian was right; I had slept for eight hours and Gloria and him were still in my head.

Told you it wouldn't work.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/4/2009, 3:05 am

I love this Sarah! I am definitely looking forward to more. =D
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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/4/2009, 12:24 pm

^ Thanks! =)


Chapter 14 - Fight of Our Lives

This place is looking more homely by the minute.

Stop talking, Christian.
Billie needs some serenity.


I just made a simple observation.
It's not like I have more matches or anything.


Just be quiet.
You talk all the time, and it's driving Billie mad.


Then why don't you stop talking?
You're driving me mad.


"Shut up already - both of you," I ordered urgently. "I'm sick and tired of both of you."

Billie, I'm not trying to -

"Billie?" Adrienne asked. She was sitting next to me in the same exam room we sat in 2 days ago, a look of worry in her eyes once again. "Who are you talking to?"

"You know damn well who I'm talking to," I answered bitterly, becoming annoyed with either myself, Adrienne, or both. "They won't stop talking; it's killing me."

"They aren't real," she reminded sternly.

"How can't they be?" I asked quickly. "They feel so real. They're in my head and I can't get them out."

"Billie, they are not real," she repeated. "You're just sick...you're going to get better."

"You don't know a goddamn thing," I spat at Armstrong's credulous wife.

She just stared at me, her infatuation finally starting to run out.


Gloria, can you get him to not be an ass?

No, I can't.
I'm sick of trying to do things for you when you show me no appreciation or gratitude!


I'm sorry! I was just annoyed with Christian!

And me. Apparently I'm just as bad as that creep.

Whatever, Gloria. I just don't care anymore.

"Billie, I'm just trying to be supportive," the wife said. "No, I don't know what it's like, but you shouldn't expect me too. You should expect me to try and help, though."

"You've been doing a great job so far," I said sarcastically said. "Armstrong's about ready to blow his brains out."


Adrienne stared at me in disbelief as I wondered what insensitive remark came out of Christian's mouth.

She was being all lovey-dovey.

Oh, my! How dare she care about her husband like that!

It's sickening.

"Billie?" the wife asked. "Billie, do you know where you are?"

I rolled my eyes. "I may be losing my mind, but I'm not going blind." I snapped at her.


What just happened? Weren't you just dominant, Gloria?

I was, but I'm not anymore, apparently.

Yeah. Pay attention, Armstrong.

"Billie? Are you...you right now?"

I looked at my wife, confused. "Of course I am," I said, but grew worried the moment the sentence came out of my mouth. "Why, what happened?"

Her wariness became fear instantaneously.

"You don't remember? What you just said, how you acted?"

I looked at her, trying to recall anything, but I realized that I couldn't. I remember telling Adie how real the voices were, but that was it. I must have done something either incredulously saint-like or destructive to the point where Adrienne could tell that it wasn't me.

The doctor came in, a distraught expression on his face. In that moment, I knew what was going to be said.

I knew that Christian and I were going to die.

"The tests were not completely conclusive, but I'm fairly certain that you have MPD."


Ah, shit.

The next step to help us confirm is to conducting a questionnaire," the doctor continued. "We ask you simple questions and see how your other personalities will react to them, if MPD is what you have. If it is, there is an experimental drug that has shown significant improvements in patients with the disorder. We can try it, and see where it takes us."

"I don't want the pills," I said.


Huh? What are you doing, Gloria!?

If you have MPD, I'm not taking the pills.

But why?

Because you don't appreciate me, and if you don't appreciate me, why should I help you?

Way to rebel!

You don't know what my past was like. You don't know about all of the shit I've been through. And you don't care. I'm sick of being ostracized by stupid and self-centered men.

Oh, cry me a river.
I give you props for your amateur rebellion there, but stop being so melodramatic. All he did was call you out, he didn't ostracize you; Armstrong isn't smart enough to be that cruel.
Suck it up and stop being so goddamn pathetic all of the time.


"I'm not being fucking pathetic!" I cried aloud. "Is it so goddamn pathetic to want some fucking respect!? I'm sick of being the carpet everyone walks all over! I'm sick of fighting for my life! I just want..."

"Billie!?" Adrienne questioned frantically as the doctor tried to grab Billie's now shaking body.

I was on the floor and everything went black from then on.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/5/2009, 5:59 am

Chapter 15 - Runaway


My head was killing me, but seeing a container of morphine beside my hospital bed changed that quickly, like a placebo effect. I tried to lift my left arm, but I realized that wasn't going to work at all.

I tried to remember why I was there, but that just made my head hurt even more. I decided that I was just going to sleep and let the morphine do its job; I'd deal with everything whenever I became painless.

You sure you don't have Alzheimer's, Armstrong?
Your little brain must be full of of holes or something.


I felt my eyes sting with hot tears. I exhaled and indulged my sanity but not answering Christian in any way.

But you're thinking about me.
I can hear your thoughts, remember?


I want to make a getaway. I'm not a masochist, so ripping out the IV and trying to find a way out of here in complete agony might suck a little.

I heard a sublimation, but I was too tired to find out what it was. but I was too tired to try to find out what it was. The room was trodorous, which was weird, but good, and I could feel the morphine beginning to work it's magic. My head was obviously spinning, as I still tired not to wonder why I was in a hospital bed.

I want to make a runaway; I want to be runaway.

I'm sick of being in this paper-thin, comfortless bed, and I'm sick of the drought my lucidity has been having to deal with because of Christian and Gloria. My marriage is healing, but the fact that the two of them are still inside my head could fuck everything up again. I want them out; I want a diagnosis and some medication. I just want to get better, to have my normality and sense of rationality back.

Then why don't you be a runaway?
Run the hell out of here.


Are you still pissed off?

Yes, so don't add to it.

For God's sake, Gloria.
He did nothing wrong.


Why are you trying to get me to forgive him?

Because I don't want to deal with a structureless grudge.
And you're really annoying when you're pissy.


Why should I forgive him or continue to try to help him?
Whenever I do, nothing changes; no respect, no gratitude, or appreciation. It's like I don't even exist.


You don't. The two of you aren't real.

Yeah, keep telling yourself that.
Rational words won't kill the irrational. You'll have to get some pills for a follow-through.


I'm not even sure I have MPD.

What else could it be, Armstrong? Seriously?
God, you are stupid.


You don't exist, so your insults mean nothing.

Ignorance is bliss.

I'm not being ignorant! You feel real, but you're not; that's what Adrienne told me. The two of you are just figments of my sick imagination, and when I get better, you'll both be gone; I'll have my serenity back.

Are how will you get better?
Where's the magic cure all pill we discussed awhile back?


I'm hoping to find it, or anything else that will get rid of the both of you.

What have I ever done to you, Billie?
I've only ever tried to help!


You aren't real, Gloria! You haven't fucked me up as much as Christian, but you aren't healthy and sane. I need you out of my head as much as I need Christian out.

Billie, a while back, I made some pretty lousy decisions and did some stupid things. I was naive and--

You don't have a past, Gloria! You shouldn't even have a name! You're just a twisted fixture of my subconscious, so stop bullshitting about your past when it's all just a deception!

I'm not being guile! Your subconscious apparently thinks I have a past because, otherwise, I wouldn't be talking about 'since I'm not real' , right? Isn't that your logic?

Yeah, but--

"You're finally awake," a doctor interrupted as he walked into the room. He sat down and glanced through my chart as he said, "You suffered a state of Dissociative Identity Disorder, and your delirious state actually helped prove it more.

"You hit your head off the ground pretty hard before Dr. Gibbs was able to catch you, but it's just a nasty bump; no concussion," he continued. "We want yo keep you overnight, and, if you feel up to it, we can conduct the questionnaire Dr. Gibbs had planned for your likable MPD. Would that be OK for, say....two o' clock?"

I was somehow able to nod and the doctor left shortly afterwords.

A questionnaire, huh?
It's gonna be a showdown.


Yeah, and you're on Gloria's side.

Ew.

Oh, and I'm flattered to be on your's. I'm just dancing with happiness!

You should be--I'm a great guy.

No you're not because you don't exist!

You keep talking without any doing.
It's working wonders for you, Armstrong.


Well, I'm doing something now. Once this questionnaire's through, these last couple months will just be a bad memory.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/5/2009, 7:46 am

Chapter 16 - Gracing My Existence


"What's your name?"

Christian.

Gloria.

"Billie Joe Armstrong," I answered.

The psychiatrist who was conducting the questionnaire that would help see if I had MPD jotted something down as she asked, "Do you hear any voices other than mine right now?"

I nodded, feeling like a neurotic mess. "I hear them now, and I have for the past few months."

"How many months?" she asked.

These are stupid questions.
I don't see how this is gonna help you.


"About 3 or so," I answered, ignoring Christian.

"Tell me about the voices," she encouraged. "How many there are, what they say, how they make you feel."

I exhaled, finding it difficult and a little tedious to describe them. "I only hear two; a male, Christian, and female, Gloria."

"Did you give them those names, or did they tell that those were there names?"

"They told me," I replied. "Well, sort of. When I first heard Gloria, I was driving and she started talking. I realized she could hear my thoughts, so I actually started talking to her, and I asked her what her name was, and she told me. I later asked her why that was her name , and she told me that it was my subconscious...or something. I don't really remember."

She wrote more things down before asking, "Why did you try talking to her? Did you think she was real?"

I shook my head. "Honestly, I thought I was dreaming."

The psychiatrist nodded. "What about Christian? How did he come about?"

He heard about me from all of the whores.
I'm known well in that community.


Don't you ever stop?
Nobody wants to know about your sexual escapades when they don't even exist.


What are you talking?
You were talking about your non-existent past 6 hours ago, so I should be able to talk about my-


"Shut up!" I ordered them.

The psychiatrist's eyes narrowed. "Are Christian and Gloria talking?" she inquired.

"They're always talking," I informed. "Not to me, but to each other, and it's not even about anything important! They just argue! They argue like an old married couple!

I don't appreciate that simile at all, Armstrong.

"Can you describe them to me?"

I sighed, a headache beginning to develop in my brain. "Christian is the most annoying. He's rude, disgusting, vulgar, diabolical, catastrophic, and...twisted. He always talks about destruction and how he doesn't care for anything.He's sarcastic and immature, too, and whenever he takes over, he screws everything up."

I think you got me down pretty well.

"What do you mean by 'takes over'?" she asked.

I sighed again. "I don't know how to explain it, really, but if I do have MPD, and Christian and Gloria are my other personalities, then that's when I become them. I lose hours of the days; I have blackouts, and that's when I figured one of them had taken over.

She nodded and questioned, "What about Gloria? Describe her for me."

Why do I have to describe myself?"

The psychiatrist looked at me funny. "Not you, Billie. I want you to describe Gloria."

I then gave her a strange look. "Well, I am Gloria."

She leaned forward slightly and looked me in the eyes. "Gloria? Can you describe yourself for me?"

I shrugged a little. "I don't know what to tell you. I'm just...me. Christian makes fun of me for being some kind of a saint, but I don't think I'm all that perfect."

"Why is that?"

I didn't feel like answering that, so I questioned her instead. "Do you have a cigarette? I haven't had one in years; I used to smoke them all the time."


"No I don't. Gloria, could you describe Billie or Christian for me?"

I felt my heart drop. "...Was I just Gloria?"

She looked up at me, a little surprised. "Billie?"

I just nodded. "Did I...?" I asked, but I drifted off.

The psychiatrist sighed a little. "Your doctor will take you back to your room where I suggest you get some rest. I'll review this session and tell you the status of the evaluation early tomorrow."

I was take back to my room where I was left to wait for a report. The waiting was pointless, though, since I already knew how fucked up I was.

I knew I was finally going to get a diagnosis.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/5/2009, 2:28 pm

Chapter 17 - What We Waited For

Opacity was all I could see, but when the obscure lighting in my eyes corrected itself after a few blinks, I was able to realize that I was in the hospital once again. The lividness was gone and I was left with redundancy, and I don't know which hand I liked better.

My head was killing me again, but I was learning to ignore the pain. The ache resided everywhere on my body now, but it was especially excruciating in my head; probably because that's where Christian and Gloria are.

I've actually been quiet for the last few hours, Armstrong.
Gloria's the one who hasn't shut up.


Is it opposite day or what? Why is Gloria being annoying and you're behaving?

I'm not going to mis-behave without an audience.
You've gotta be awake, or screwing with you isn't fun.


Great. I had hoped you turned a new leaf.

Ha! How long have you known me, Armstrong?

Long enough to know that was just wishful thinking.

In the most naive and idiotic way.
I thought I crushed your optimism.


Not all of it, but most of it; Gloria kept it intact, but now she's pissed off at me.

I'm not pissed, I'm just upset.
I just want you to appreciate me, Billie.


Gloria, how can I appreciate a symptom of a terrible illness?

I know, I know! And I'm sorry.
You like me more than Christian, though, right?


Definitely...but that's an easy accomplishment.

What the hell?
I've been good for the last few days.


Yes, you have, Christian.
You can get a gold star from your father, Lucifer.


That was cold.
See how mean she is, Armstrong?


And do you see how you deserve every ounce of it?

I control your dreams, remember?
Time for an awesome nightmare.


"Billie Joe?" A familiar voice asked. I looked over to see Mike and Tre, and my stomach started doing back flips. I just didn't want anyone to see me like this.

"Hey," I said, surprisingly normally. I remembered what happened last time I was awake, whether that was yesterday or a year ago, I don't know, but I needed to know the answer.

"How did I do on the thing?" I asked as I sat up in the bed, getting sick of laying down.

They glanced at each other. Mike sighed before Tre slowly said, "You failed with flying colors."

"So...I...?"

Mike nodded. "You have Multiple Personality Disorder..."

I don't know why, but the fact that it was definite caused me to lose it. I started crying, and I felt like an idiot, but I couldn't help it.

Tre put his hand on my arm as Mike tried to comfort me by saying, "The session wasn't even finished and the psychiatrist knew...Billie, this is a good thing, in a way; it's the best case solution in a situation like this. The doctors want to give you the treatment. They were waiting for you to wake up 'cause they need your consent."

I just nodded, my tears stopping, "Where's Adrienne?" I quickly questioned.

"She was here, but she had to check on Joey and Jakob," Tre answered. "She figured you'd be out longer. She said she'd be back soon, though."

I nodded again, afraid my mouth wouldn't work. I couldn't say anything because nothing could really be said. I mean, what was I supposed to say to all of this? I knew MPD was the answer for a while now, but, I guess actually realizing it and seeing everyone else become aware of it too was scary, to say the least, and no words could accurately describe it.

Since I knew what was wrong with me, everything seemed to go back to being black and white--completely achromatic, but in a good way. The doctors were going to start the treatment, and, hopefully in a few days, Christian and Gloria will be gone, along with the blackouts, depression, and body pains. I just couldn't wait for things to get back to the way they used to be.

So, you're gonna get that magic cure all pill, huh?
You're gonna kick me and the assiduous saint out of this awesome crib?


That's the plan, yeah.

Well, I don't appreciate that too much, Armstrong.

Well, there's nothing you can do.
Billie got a diagnosis, and he's going to take the treatment. We'll be gone. I guess we should take one last good look around, 'cause it'll all be over soon.


But it isn't fair, is it Gloria?
You've busted your ass for Armstrong and got no credit for it. Now, he's killing us off. It doesn't seem to just in my point in view.


Your point of view doesn't exist, Christian, so nothing you do or say matters.

I'm not gonna go out quietly, Armstrong.

What are you talking about, Christian?

I'm talking about another plan.

To what--conspire against me?

To keep me here in this comfy cerrebelum.

But why? This war is over; like Gloria said, I have a diagnosis and I'm getting treatment. You can't stop this, or delay it, so why try?

Because I am the adversary.
And I enjoy fucking you over.


Christian, you can't do anything. Billie has a disease, and he'll get treatment.
Nothing can be done.


You're right.
I can't do anything on my own, but if you help out, I bet we could crash in this brain for life.


You're a sick delusion, you know that?

What makes me sick? I'm just fulfilling a purpose.
I want to go out with a bang, remember?


This is ridiculous and pathetic. There's no chance that you can harm me in anyway anymore.

Not if I have a tag team.
C'mon Gloria; you've got nothing to lose. It's not like you'll lose Armstrong respect or appreciation.
He never gave you any of those, ever.


That's just because I ruined his life.

How? By being his conscience; his sense of rationality? We may not be real entities, but i was the asshole, not you. I ruined his life, you picked up the ruins and tried to put them back together, but Armstrong never cared. Isn't that such a slap in the fuckin' face?

Don't listen to him, Gloria; he's just trying to fuel the flames of his unjustified inferno.

He sounds pretty justified to me.

What? You can't be serious, Gloria.

Christian may be crazy, psychotic antinomian, but he's right. I don't have anything to lose in trying to save myself. I know that makes you unhappy, but I just don't care anymore. I'm sick of caring, actually, and if joining Christian in the fight against you mean I might have some glimmer of something to live for, then so be it.

But you have nothing to live for because you don't live! How many times do I have to tell you that--

You never gave me any adulation! You treated me like an enemy, when I was just trying to help you!

Deja vu. We already had this conversation, and I hate broken records. Are you in or not, Gloria? Yes or no?

I'm going to have to say yes.

Awesome! I knew you were a rebel behind your stupid and amiable ways.

Insulting me makes me want to work with you less, so stop calling me every name in the book.

I'll stop being an ass, if you'll commit to this plan 110%.

Deal.

OK, then.

I just sighed and tried to go to sleep. Tre and Mike still with me in the room. If only they knew the trials I was going through, maybe I wouldn't feel so resentful.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/7/2009, 10:31 am

Chapter 18 - This Modern Hell

I'm dominant, Christian.
Can you tell me your plan now?


OK, but; it's top secret.
We're gonna have to do a huddle.


Billie's subconscious is resting, so he can't hear us. If he could, it wouldn't matter because he wouldn't remember when he becomes dominant again, anyway.

So, that's a no on the huddle?

Yes. MPD's blackouts and forgetfulness are a nice excuse for me not having to get close to you, huh?

And you think I'm cruel.

Yes, I do.

Whatever, OK, the plan is simple. Armstrong has started the MPD treatment. The treatment is just a bunch of pills he has to take over a period of time. The pills are sitting right in the kitchen cabinet, so all we have to do is dispose of them some way; throw them away, flush them down the toilet--whatever.

That sounds easy though.

Yeah. The only problems are getting it past the wife and Armstrong. When he becomes dominant, he'll realize something's up and he'll blame us. He has to go to the hospital once a week to check his progress, so the doctors will know he's not taking the pills, but Armstrong won't know why for certain because of the blackouts.

So this isn't really going to work then, right? The doctors will know he's not taking the pills, and Billie will know it's us. They'll find a way to give him the treatment.

But it buys us more time here. It's also our last time to mess with Armstrong. Doesn't that make it worth the while?

Not really, but I've got nothing better to do.

Good. So, since you're dominant, you get to go first.
Get down into the kitchen, but avoid the wife and kids.


Where are they?

Who the hell cares? Stop asking questions and go, go, go.

OK!

I walked out of Billie's bedroom and looked both ways before rushing to the stairs...I walked down them quietly and passed through the living room, but avoided the dining room where Adrienne was.

I made it to the kitchen and started looking through the cabinets. I found the medication and quietly headed back to the stairs.

What should I do with them, Christian?


Flush them down the toilet. If Armstrong or the wife sees them in the garbage, then we're screwed.

The bottle and all?

Yeah, sure, whatever. Just hurry up!

But what if it gets stuck in there or something?

Gloria! It doesn't matter! Hurry up before the dominance changes.

OK, OK! Stop yelling, you're making me nervous!

You're the one yelling, genius!
Hurry the hell up!


I stood in front of the toilet while staring at the pill bottle in my hand. The medication was called Cynoplorian and the tablets were round, small, and white. They looked weak, but they were powerful.

I couldn't stop staring at the orange bottle. This was Billie Joe's cure, and I was getting rid of it. I was hurting him when I used to try to help him. I had become everything I hated, I had become Christian.


What's taking you so long?

I can't do this, Christian.

Why the hell not?

Because it isn't fair for Billie. We've been torturing him for months, and doing this will just give us a few more days. What's the point?

Gloria, don't you remember how he treated us? You were pissed last week, and nothing's changed.
Just drop the fuckin' thing!


I can't! I don't want to do this anymore!

For God's sake, Gloria. You're such a stupid bitch for helping a guy that wants to fucking kill you.

The deal said you wouldn't insult me anymore, and I really don't appreciate being fucking berated by anyone, especially you!

The deal also said that you would commit 110% and you aren't!

I just can't do this to him!

You're a coward.

And you're a maniac!

I'm a sensible maniac, though. You're the crazy, worthless one.

Just stop it, Christian!

Let me be dominant, and I'll take care of this.

No!

I began crying, unable to control me emotions. I was overwhelmed with guilt for resenting Billie. He deserved to be upset with me, he even deserved to hate me. I'm the wrong one here, he never was.
The pill bottle fell out of my hands.


There. The deed is done.

Christian! What the hell?

Apparently, I'm dominant, so I can do what you were too foolish not to do.

The pill bottle was in the toilet and I flushed them away. By doing so, I also flushed away all of Gloria's happiness, but I couldn't possibly have cared less.

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PostSubject: Re: Pencils, Dust, and Imperfection   7/7/2009, 11:10 am

Chapter 19 - Don't Lose Your Faith

I don't even know why I was trying to write a song; it's not like there were any melodies or lyrics in my head. The only things inside of my head were Christian and Gloria, and that wasn't a good thing.

I had taken one dose of the experimental MPD medication, but things were good, so far. I wasn't dealing with Christian and Gloria that often anymore, and my body wasn't ashing that much. I wasn't even experimenting the possible side effects the pill bottle warned of.

Unable to write any form of a song, I sat my acoustic guitar down and walked out of my den and upstairs. I figured it was time for a second does of the meds, so I opened the kitchen cabinet to get them.

But they weren't there.

I looked behind old and empty pill bottles, but I knew they wouldn't be back there. I looked on the kitchen counter and table, but they weren't there either. I looked in the dining and living rooms and didn't find them. I finally went upstairs to check my bedroom, but was still empty-handed.

I started questioning and doubting myself, but I shouldn't have been. I clearly remember putting the pills in the kitchen cabinet, and Adrienne or my kids wouldn't have moved them. Even if they had, I've looked all over this house and haven't found them anywhere. I was racking my brain madly, but a probable conclusion popped into my head quickly.

"What did you guys do with them?" I urgently asked Christian and Gloria aloud.

I received no answer.

"I know you're still in my head," I said, slightly neurotically. "One dose of that stuff couldn't have possibly killed you both off."

Still no reply.

"I know you're in there!" I cried. "I know you did something with the medication, and I know you're pretending to be gone so I'll think I'm better, it's not going to work."

Once again, nobody spoke.

"Fine," I announced, still speaking aloud. "But when I go to the hospital tomorrow, the doctor will know, and we'll get rid of the both of you somehow."

I received no comment from either one of them, so I gave up. They were both stubborn and adamant about destroying me, so neither one of them were going to blow their cover.

I laid down on my bed, planning to just rest for a moment, but I ended up falling asleep rather quickly. I was actually able to sleep soundly too since Christian and Gloria weren't fuzzing up my poor and tired brain with foundationless arguments and melodramatic complaints.

Hey, my complaints are very dramatic!
Gloria's the star of all of them.


I thought we weren't supposed to be talking?

Armstrong's asleep, so it doesn't matter.

I knew you two were still in my head!

I thought he was asleep...isn't he?

Yes, but his mind is still working.
His subconscious is talking to us.


So, he's dreaming?

Sort of.

Ugh...this is so confusing.

As you said before, Christian--let me end the confusion by destroying your mind. To do that, though, you're going to have to let me take the medication.

What are you implying, Armstrong?

That you did something with the pills.

Why would I ever do such a thing?

Because you're a sick bastard.

This is not the time for name-calling, and I don't appreciate being singled-out. Why don't you accuse Gloria? She could have done something.

What could she have done?

Apparently something with your pills.
I don't know--how should I know?


Because you were definitely involved. Your plan was to destroy my medication, by the looks of it.

I'm flattered that you think I'm the mastermind behind this, but I'm not as bad of a seed as you think; Gloria's the one who's still pissed at you.

Gloria and I are OK now, to my knowledge.
You're the one I have to worry about.

Christian flushed your pills down the toilet.

Gloria! Not cool!

Well, it's not like he'll remember this; I just want to know his reaction.

Thanks, Gloria. I'm not very surprised, though. That 'plan' isn't really as diabolical or maniacal as you made it seem, Christian. You're a very simple bastard, I guess.

Simple, but still effective.
I have a question, though--why blame me? I know I'm a twisted maniac, but Gloria could have still been involved and you just gave her a free ride; no berating, lecturing, or even questioning. You don't even seem doubtful. Is my perception of your emotions shot; or what? She was pissed at you just a few weeks ago, and nothing's changed...has it?


No. I guess I still want to believe in Gloria. I know she's just a personality, but...I guess since she's technically me, I take her as a sick and fragile version of me, and I don't want her to break, I don't want to lose my faith in her.

Thanks, Billie!

That was lame, Armstrong.

I woke up in my bed; I must've drifted off for awhile.
I sat up and sighed when I remembered that I still had no idea where my MPD meds went to.

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